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Morning Headlines: Ryan Qualifies for First Debate, Oberlin Market Awarded $44M in Lawsuit

Rep. Tim Ryan (left)
Rep. Tim Ryan (left)

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, June 14:

  • Ryan qualifies for first debate;
  • Oberlin awarded $44M in lawsuit;
  • University of Akron to use reserved funds for next school year;
  • Source of Legionnaires' outbreak found;
  • Summit County considers resolution to create stormwater management team;
  • Trial date postponed for Medina man who pretended to be missing child;
  • Cedair Fair to buy two Texas waterparks;
  • Officials determine Cedar Point ride malfunctioned;

Ryan qualifies for first debate

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan has qualified for the first round of Democratic Presidential debates later this month in Miami. Cleveland.com reports Ryan is one of 20 presidential candidates the Democratic National Committee is inviting to share the stage. Set for June 26 and 27, Ryan will square off against big names like former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Considered a long-shot, Ryan is one of two-dozen Democrats vying to unseat President Donald Trump in the 2020 elections. He's represented Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley since 2003.

Oberlin market awarded $44M in lawsuit

Owners of a market accused of racism have been awarded more than $44 million in a lawsuit, accusing Oberlin College of libel and hurting their business. A jury in Lorain County, awarded David Gibson, son Allyn Gibson and Gibson's Bakery $33 million in punitive damages Thursday. That comes on top of an award a day earlier of $11 million in compensatory damages. The protests occurred in November 2016 when Allyn Gibson, who is white, got in a fight with three black students after one shoplifted. The episode triggered protests against the business. An Oberlin attorney argued the school has subsequently become a better community partner and works with students to be good neighbors.

University of Akron to use reserved funds for next school year

The University of Akron said it expects to dip into reserve funds for the 2019-20 school year. The Beacon Journal reports the Board of Trustees voted to pull $11.5 million out of its reserves for next year's budget. The spending plan is down $19 million. Interim President John Green said there are no plans to cut current staff. The Beacon reports about 80 positions remain vacant. Tuition will increase by 1.5% for new four-year students next year.

Source of Legionnaires' outbreak found

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at a newly opened hospital outside Columbus has been traced to its hot water system. The health department said at least 16 patients admitted to the 210-bed Mount Carmel Grove City hospital after its opening April 28 have been diagnosed with Legionnaires'. The disease is a severe form of pneumonia that's caused by inhaling tiny water droplets containing bacteria. One of the patients died. The hospital said in a statement Thursday that the disease outbreak happened because of inadequate disinfection of the hot water system prior to the hospital's opening. A new disinfection system with constant monitoring has been installed.

Summit County considers resolution to create stormwater management team

Summit County is considering putting it to voters to decide whether to form a new group addressing storm water issues across the county.The Beacon Journal reports Summit County Council is considering a resolution that would put the creation of the Storm Water Management Commission on the November ballot. Summit County has dozens of townships and cities that manage storm water differently. The Beacon reports if the group is formed, the stormwater commission would work on a county-wide stormwater management plan. The County Council, which is in recess for much of the summer, must make a decision by early August to get the issue on the November ballot.

Trial date postponed for Medina man who pretended to be missing child

A pretrial hearing has been canceled for a 24-year-old Medina man charged with impersonating a long-missing child. A court notice was posted Thursday morning, a few hours ahead of what had been scheduled as the final pretrial hearing for Brian Michael Rini. Rini’s June 24 trial date is likely to be postponed. He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of lying to federal agents and one of aggravated identity theft. He's been held without bond since April, when federal authorities confirmed his identity. Authorities said Rini claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen, an Aurora, Illinois, boy who disappeared in 2011 at the age of 6.

Cedair Fair to buy two Texas waterparks

Cedar Point's parent company Sandusky-based is in talks to buy two Texas waterparks owned by Schlitterbahn for a reported $261 million. In a release, Schlitterbahn said Cedar Fair will take over its resort and water park in New Branfuels, Texas and another property in Galveston, Texas. Cedar Fair’s President said in a statement the properties from Schlitterbahn represent new markets for Cedar Fair in the growing central Texas region. Cedar Fair also has the right to buy its Kansas City, Kansas waterpark where a young boy was killed on a ride in 2016.

Officials determine Cedar Point ride malfunctioned

Riders on a Cedar Point roller coaster were stuck swinging like a pendulum earlier this week. Cleveland.com reports the GateKeeper roller coaster malfunctioned Wednesday night, leaving riders in one car swinging back and forth for nearly two minutes. No one was hurt. Cedar Point officials told Cleveland.com that high winds were to blame for the malfunction and the ride's safety systems engaged, allowing people to exit safely. The GateKeeper coaster opened in 2013.

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Mark has been a host, reporter and producer at several NPR member stations in Delaware, Alaska, Washington and Kansas. His reporting has taken him everywhere from remote islands in the Bering Sea to the tops of skyscrapers overlooking Puget Sound. He is a diehard college basketball fan who enjoys taking walks with his dog, Otis.